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Computational Molecular Modeling Studies of Some Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Alanine Racemase Inhibitors

Unni Jayaram, Mohammed Afzal Azam


Alanine racemase is a pyridoxal-5′-phosphate dependent bacterial enzyme that provides the essential peptidoglycan precursor D-alanine, utilized for cell wall synthesis. This enzyme is ubiquitous throughout bacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, making it an attractive target for antibacterial drug discovery. We investigated the binding mode of twenty five reported Mycobacterium tuberculosis alanine racemase inhibitors. The results obtained from molecular docking studies emphasized the importance of inhibitor interaction with Lys42, Tyr46, Arg140, His172 and Tyr175 residues at the catalytic binding pocket of alanine racemase enzyme. The predicted binding free energies showed that van der Waals and nonpolar solvation interactions are the driving force for binding of inhibitors. Molecular dynamics simulation studies of four such inhibitor-alanine racemase systems were further explored to study the inhibition mechanism. The quantum chemical parameters calculated at the B3LYP/6-31G**++ level of theory indicated that the inhibitors must have low values of the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital energy and high values of electrostatic potential for stronger interactions. We expect that this study can provide significant theoretical guidance for design of potent Mycobacterium tuberculosis alanine racemase inhibitors in future.


Molecular docking; binding free energy; alanine racemase; molecular dynamics simulations.

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Copyright (c) 2020 Unni Jayaram, Mohammed Afzal Azam

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